The Underwater Typewriter immerses us in the ritual of finding and expressing voice, bestowed by grace, in the face of cruelty, chance, betrayal and loss. It arrives as a collection of weathered shards, gathered and turned, through which light and by implication love, bent and at times nearly occluded, passes kaleidoscopically. The Underwater Typewriter's shifting patterns reveal the variety and range demanded of a poet traversing brutal terrain, tempted by but refusing bitterness. Zegans' poetry inverts Browning, finding human possibility in the broken, and discovers life beyond Joseph Cornell's wistful memory compiled in the collage of remaindered things. Listen closely as you read, for sound travels great distances under water.
Jenn Vee made a beautiful Visual Poetry video of the poem "Broken Lines".
“The Underwater Typewriter is a stellar work. Rarely does anyone combine Zegans' formal sense of space and syntax with such underlying passion and profound perception. For me it rivals John Ashbury's "Flow Chart" and Frank O'Hara's "Lunch Poems." It's a game changer in terms of form and language, one that will win over "many hearts." Read it!”
Lo Galluccio, Past Poet Populist of Cambridge, vocalist, and author of Hot Rain and Sarasota VII.
“Marc Zegans is a punk-poet and a poet-punk. In The Underwater Typewriter he is as equally at home in the city gutter as he is on the high seas, chronicling tales of mortality from deep in our past to deep in our present. Zegans possesses a keen understanding of history, but also writes with the eye of an anthropologist, the ear of someone who, like my mother, can listen to multiple conversations at once, and the storytelling skills of a griot. I like it best of all when he pulls the pin on his typewriter and uses it like it’s a grenade. One such poem, “P(un)k Poets: Too Fucked to Drink,” works as an elegy not only for San Francisco, but for all American cities gone to anodyne seed.”
Michael Stewart Foley, author of Dead Kennedys’ “Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables” (33 1/3), professor of American Political Culture and Political Theory, University of Groningen
“In The Underwater Typewriter, poet Marc Zegans plays the seductive merman, inviting us with the casual wave of a flipper to join him beneath the surface of the ordinary world, where treasures untold wait to be discovered in the shimmering waters. How fortunate we are to have a guide of such intelligence, courage, and compassion.”
Charles Coe, author of All Sins Forgiven: Poems for My Parents
“The Underwater Typewriter reminds us that the physical body is lost and helpless on the edge of mortality but that the soul will not give in, no matter what. Zegans is a master of the stolen moment; Lovers in different states of melancholy reminiscent of Neruda’s The Captain’s Verses, the dangerous days of real hipsters fighting tyranny and spilling real blood, the forever onward push of the natural elements against man’s languishing fragility. Through language and rhythm, he is able to capture these memories and images before they evaporate like smoke in a room. Or coffee steam up from a chipped mug. It is a collection of laments, but somewhere behind the voice of a wise sage with a really good pen, lurks the humor and optimism of a young man in spectator shoes who waits for these kinds of deep slashes to smarten him up. It makes you want to read poetry again. And to pay attention. And to live in one big gulp.”
Nichole Dupont, writer, editor, fighter
“No clichés…. No subtle walks through the park sniffing daisies…. No bullshit... Marc shocks his subjects with electric intensity of remarkable descriptive imagery while diving deep into unfiltered waters, getting beneath the currents of human interactions to lock eyes with his subjects before fetching his underwater typewriter. Each poem through the 133 pages is tightly crafted with laser-light jolts of focus without compromise. Marc journeys unleashed through unchartered waters from East to West coasts with the hardened intimacy of a lover and a dreamer without remorse, able to reflect his natural gift of crafting a poem.”
Brian Morrisey, editor Poesy Magazine
“Poet Marc Zegans offers an extraordinary collection of poems that probes the deeper nuances of love, desire and creativity, and the crushing weight of despair, emotional peril, legacy and mortality. Displaying impressive formal technique, Zegans explores the often harrowing depths of the human psyche with wit and intelligence.”
Deborah Oster Pannell, Miscreant Magazine
“My friend Marc Zegans new book just came out. His stories & poetry will transport you. His words read like music. I was lucky enough to get to read it early on. It's a gorgeous read.”
Lillian Ann Slugocki
“Childlike and adult – heart-wrenching and cruel – sensual and distant – remembered and present, in The Underwater Typewriter, Marc Zegans weaves opposites into poems that feel like a breath held in excitement, wonder, longing and expectation — I swim in his words and feel somehow comforted when I recognize every single typewritten word as my truth.”
Erin Cressida Wilson, playwright, screenwriter, and author. Her films include Secretary (2002), Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (2006), Chloe (2010) and Men, Women and Children (2014).
“In The Underwater Typewriter, Marc Zegans uses a bracing surrealism as an edifying weapon, a strategy that unifies many disparate themes into a cohesive and electrifying performance. In the manner of Reverdy or Apollinaire, these poems are deceptively intimate as the narrator sits in his abstract webs, and with deft precision, uses his language to shake the reader's preconceived notions. The best poetry always illuminates the hidden commerce between unseen things, but Zegans' work also has a constant emotional honesty that does not truck in obfuscation or ambiguity; it is a poetry that strives to reduce the loneliness and misperceptions that occur every day between cultures, genders, geographies, and families. From the shards, he shows us a sharper focus, a deeper understanding of what it means to be a contemporary citizen of this world.”
Keith Flynn, editor of The Asheville Poetry Review and author of Colony Collapse Disorder
“Zegans adopts a splenetic, acerbic voice in many of the poems in this rich and varied collection. In “P(un)k Poets: Too Fucked to Drink,” he loosely adopts the structure of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” to update his predecessor’s mid-50s wail, dragging the drama forward in time with references to Jello Biafra and Ronald Reagan, looks back with nods to William Carlos Williams, Walt Whitman and John Lee Hooker in a three-part tirade—spunky, sparky—before turning to Ginsberg himself in the final stanza, in a fractured, fragmented and spirited collision of image and energy.”
“In “A Hipster Retires”, he wittily, not a little dreamily, scans the lost bohemian landscape of the West Village, name-checks Cannonball Adderley and Miles Davis, participants in a subterranean golden age, and feels deeply unimpressed by the skinny-jeaned successors of contemporary times, a pale imitation perhaps of Mailer’s original white Negroes. Recalling the deeper meanings once entwined in that subcultural milieu, he perceives only shallow surface in today’s poseurs and knows it’s time to hang up the cool shades that once hid his own benzedrine pupils.”
Simon Warner, editor of Howl for Now and author of Text and Drugs and Rock’n’Roll: The Beats and Rock Culture
“Congratz, Marc! Great title and I love yr work!”
Marc Zegans is the author of the poetry collection Pillow Talk and two spoken word albums, Marker and Parker and Night Work. He comes to The Underwater Typewriter through the bayous and backwaters of American poetry, having been the Narragansett Beer Poet Laureate, and a Poetry Whore with the New York Poetry Brothel—which Time Out New York described as “New York's Sexiest Literary Event.” Marc has performed everywhere from the Bowery Poetry Club to the American Poetry Museum. As an immersive theater producer, he created the Boston Center for the Arts' CycSpecific "Speak-Easy" and Salon Poetique: A Gathering of the "Tossed Generation." He also has been MC and co-producer of The No Hipsters Rock 'n Roll Revue and co-producer, with Karen Lee, of Burlesque for Books. Marc lives near the coast in Northern California.